PEr FYI

May 24, 2020

Flying wanton mee, Petaling Jaya…hawker or showman?

Since the emergence of hawkers in the 19th century, the role of the cook has not changed. For the most part they toiled entirely comfortable in their anonymity. Today however, successful hawkers are entrepreneurs, budding scientists and showman.

A humble plate of wanton noodle is deemed too plain and unsurprising to command a place here in Seapark and so the hawker makes simplicity shine – the gravity-defying bundle of noodles tossed two storeys high and deftly caught it in his sieve. He then transferred the noodles to a bowl, ladled a good helping of lard and shallot oil as well as dark sauce over the springy strands, and gave them a good mix. Apparently, the science behind it is the higher you toss, the more hot water gets dispersed. So when you mix the noodles into the gravy, they absorb better, the overall taste doesn’t feel watered down.

The definition is flying noodles is no longer those they serve you on board a flight anymore. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 23, 2020

Gram café and pancake, Singapore…the wait can be compared to purgatory

Who doesn’t love a pancake?

Gram’s Japanese soufflé pancakes are a fast-growing food trend on Instagram. In addition to their attractive, springy texture and sweet toppings, there seems to be a third factor in their social media success: a long line. If purgatory for foodies exists, then this is what it feels like. The food-obsessed want to taste what’s at the end of it, and posting a photo of the experience is proof that they did. It’s easy to see why: the buttermilk beauties served here are light and lovely, yet satisfyingly eggy. In short: flipping perfect.

And be warned: whether you have waited hours, weeks or months to try these pancakes, they  are unlikely to stay on your plate for more than a minute. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 22, 2020

Kiki Yococho, Sapporo…yummy as heck and beautifully flavoured.

There is a belief amongst crepe-lovers: if you could catch the crepe with a frying pan after tossing it in the air (with your left hand), while holding a piece of gold (on your right) you’d become rich that year. True or not, this I personally know: whatever filling or topping you choose to accompany a crepe, it’s always a delight – whether for a meal or dessert!

When pondering Japanese food, crepe isn’t the first thing that comes to mind but tucked away in Daimaru Sapporo, Kiki Yococho is a little local gem. The crepes are – and I’m only slightly exaggerating – a firm favourite which was sweet-but-not-too-sweet in that dangerous way that means you could eat it all day. The seating area is small in a typically Japanese bustling way.

You can’t really go wrong with the crepe. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 17, 2020

Calanthe Art Café, Melaka…merely so-so experience

Malaysia has a thriving specialty coffee scene that rivals that of other well known U.S. coffee-crazy cities like Seattle and San Francisco.

With the tagline ‘The First and Only One’, Calanthe is unique, serving specialty coffee drinks from all the 13 states of the country, some Malaysian states have unique blends of coffee mixed with margarine, salt or even wheat flour. With expectations raised sky-high, I was let down by the coffee I cupped which seemed relatively subdued and muted aromatics.

Calanthe is also called an “art cafe”, and therefore you can immerse in the artistic ambience, decorations and wall paintings. Food-wise the Calanthe Laksa – in-house recipe -the gravy consists of coconut milk, lemon grass, turmeric, dried prawn paste, shallots, etc. served with tofu puffs, fish balls, fried bean curd skin, portion of hard boiled egg, fishcake slices, bean sprouts and grated cucumber is nothing to write home to mother about.

The merely so-so vibes don’t quite last until the very end the week. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 16, 2020

Mad For Garlic, Singapore…you’ll smell of garlic and happiness

First, the restaurant’s name, because names are very important: not surprising that garlic is the humming motor in this Korea garlic-themed Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is not only serving some of the most objectively interesting food, they’re also serving some of the most delicious.

There’s bias in this review, for sure, because this is my sort of food. Prepared at your table, the Garlic Bread Tower – Mad for Garlic special bread tower topped with garlic puree is the showstopper. It’s not all fancy and fussy, but it’s very good. Of all the main, Garlic Snowing Pizza – sweet white sauce, fried garlic, shrimp and pineapple. is the one to choose, as it’s really the best of what they have. Utterly gorgeous. This pizza is almost reason enough to visit. The Garlic sizzling rice – fried rice with pickled garlic, bacon and flying fish roe served on a sizzling pan is no match to the other two heady heights and I will not rush to order it again.

If you love garlic, you’ll love Mad for Garlic. For me, at least, it is a great place to have up your sleeve. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 15, 2020

So Asean Café & Restaurant, Bangkok…master of none

My reaction to the Jack of all trade menu is that there was no way this casual cafe could excel at preparing each different ethnic dish well. They were obviously casting a wide net, trying to appeal to the largest number of diners.

The familiar dishes – Puffy shrimp omelette, Grilled pork neck with spicy jaew dip, stir-fried squid with salted egg yolk sauce are all there but you also get slow-cooked chicken and pork adobo from the Philippines, Indonesian-style chicken satay or Singapore chicken rice.

This is just another one of those typical, charmless cafes in Bangkok. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 10, 2020

Bangkok Spa, Johor Bahru…this place SUCKS!!

Filed under: Activities, Malaysia, Massage, spa, worst — Tags: , , , — PEr @ 3:09 pm

I don’t even want to dignify this place as a “spa” because it is a poorly-staffed, money-making machine. I only want someone to give me a full body massage if they know what they are doing. And my “masseuse” clearly did not. Where to begin?

Total waste of my time and money. Not even worth a dollar. I’ve had better massages from friends who know nothing about massage. Seriously, if you’re not using any pressure while massaging me, you’re just touching me. Just stop. The place was filthy and I had to took a shower immediately when I got home. It was supposed to be relaxing but there were extremely loud boom boom boom music coming from outside through the paper-thin walls. Horrible experience overall.

It was the complete opposite of relaxing and by the end I just wanted to get out of there. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 9, 2020

Magnolia Spa, Koh Samui…I wouldn’t even go back for free

Filed under: Activities, Massage, spa, Thailand, worst — Tags: , , — PEr @ 2:10 pm

I read some good reviews online and decided to give this place a chance.  Big mistake.

The massage was just terrible, I couldn’t even wait for it to finish and stopped the masseur mid-way just to get out of there.  I’ve had a lot of massages, some not good, but I’ve never quit, even despite it being subpar. My masseuse clearly had no idea what she was doing and had no strength nor technique. Not cool

I wouldn’t even go back for free. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 8, 2020

F1, Singapore…theme park for grown-ups who love to drive

Filed under: Activities, F1, Singapore — Tags: , , , , — PEr @ 11:03 am

For those who want to enjoy the Singapore Grand Prix in style, the Paddock Club is the play to be and to be seen.

You’d think the Grand Prix is about fast cars, heat and a lot of noise, but for those with deep pockets it can be the most exclusive and indulgent experience. The one area to which is the most exclusive of all: the team pit lanes, where the drivers and staff work over a race weekend. Perfect shots for Instagram stories.

Someone told me it’s like a theme park for grown-ups who love to drive. In this case, I have to agree. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 3, 2020

Waton Katsusen, Tokyo…Highly delicious, addictive, pure bliss… (did i use enough adjectives there?)

Tonkatsu (breaded and deep-fried pork cutlets) ranks high on the list of Japanese soul food.The best place to get Japanese tonkatsu in Haneda Airport at the moment is probably Waton Katsusen.

Pork loin cutlet platter – Japanese pork loin cutlet (only 10 servings a day) comes with unlimited shredded cabbage, house pickles, miso soup and a bowl of rice. The first bite is supremely crispy and crunchy, but you’ll soon feel the juices from the humble pork cutlet hit – the rest is pure bliss. The katsu is surprisingly light on the palate, and on the gut, you leave with a “clean” feeling rather than a queasiness. You are finished before you know it. You are happy. You look forward to the flight.

It is worth your while if you love katsu as much as I do. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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